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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Turkey’s opposition fielded a single candidate in the presidential elections Fox News

Presidential and legislative elections in Turkey will be held as scheduled despite the February 6 earthquake, which killed more than 46,000 people and devastated entire regions in the south and southeast of the country. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who has led the Republican People’s Party (CHP) since 2010, has promised to “return the country to democracy” if elected in May, AFP reported.

The coalition, nicknamed “the Alliance of the Nation”, almost collapsed on Friday, just ten weeks before the vote. Meral Aksener, leader of the nationalist Good Party, the second formation of the coalition, strongly opposed Kılıçdaroğlu’s candidacy, calling on the popular mayors of Istanbul and Ankara, Ekrem Imamoğlu and Mansur Yavas, to stand for his place. After meeting the two mayors and then Kılıçdaroğlu in Ankara on Monday, the leader of the Good Party finally agreed to join the Alliance.

For some opposition supporters, Kılıçdaroğlu, a 74-year-old former senior leader of the Alevi minority, suffers from a lack of charisma compared to the head of state. However, Erdogan, whose popularity has been battered by Turkey’s ongoing economic crisis, will have to answer voters for the slow response in the first hours after the Feb. 6 earthquake. Apologizing for the delay in delivering aid, the 69-year-old Turkish president has set himself the goal of rebuilding the devastated areas, promising to build nearly 490,000 homes to earthquake-resistant standards “within a year” .

According to polls, the presidential election on May 14 promises to be the most difficult for Erdogan since 2003, when he came to power as prime minister. In addition, the pro-Kurdish left-wing HDP, which favors Kılıçdaroğlu’s nomination, may not nominate a candidate this year in favor of the opposition alliance, Turkish media reported. The HDP, the third parliamentary party, won 12% of the vote in the last legislative elections, while its imprisoned candidate won 8.4% of the vote in the 2018 presidential election. According to a recent poll, less than half of voters should vote for Erdogan’s ruling AK party and its nationalist allies.


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